A Snapshot into Hungary’s New Digital Nomad Visa

A Snapshot into Hungary’s New Digital Nomad Visa

by May 31, 2023

Hungary launched a digital nomad visa in 2022, allowing foreign nationals to live in the country for up to a year while working for a company located abroad.

The residence permit, called White Card, is designed for digital nomads, investors, and entrepreneurs, providing remote workers with a clear and streamlined process toward temporary residency in the country without the need of local sponsorship.

The scheme is reportedly the most accessible digital nomad visa in Europe, requiring applicants to earn a minimum of EUR 2,000 per month. This makes the program much more accessible than other European alternatives in countries like Portugal (a minimum of EUR 3,040/month), Malta (EUR 2,700/month) and Croatia (EUR 2,400/month).

Hungary is overall a compelling destination for digital nomads, providing affordable living costs, a safe environment with relatively low criminality, good Internet connection and strong infrastructure and a continental climate with hot summers and snowy cold winters.

But above all, the residence permit gives holders a favorable taxation regime with an exemption for the first six months and the ability to travel freely in the Schengen zone.

Hungary digital nomad

image via Unsplash

Requirements for Hungary’s the White Card

Hungary’s White Card is available to workers who are not citizens of an European Union (EU) or a European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Applicants must have “a verified employment relationship in a country other than Hungary” in addition to foreign investors who “[own] a share in a company with a verified profit in a country other than Hungary.” In both cases, applicants must work or manage their company from Hungary using “an advanced digital technology solution.” Applicants must also meet the minimum income requirement of EUR 2,000 per month.

To apply for a White Card, applicants must hold a passport that’s valid for at least six months after their visa expires and must produce proof of income for at least six months prior to entry, proof of accommodation in Hungary proof of having access to comprehensive health insurance services. The administrative fee relating to applying for a White Card is EUR 110 when applying in an Hungarian embassy or consulate.

Government processing times are approximately 30 calendar days. Upon arrival, permit holders must register their accommodation with regional authorities and complete the application in country.

The White Card allows permit holders to stay for up to a year but is renewable for an additional year. The permit, however, does not allow holders to sponsor their spouse or dependents. Permit holders must stay in the country for at least 90 days in a 180-day period.

The rise of digital nomad visas

Digital nomad visas and immigration programs targeting remote workers have proliferated around the world as governments seek to tap into the opportunities brought about the remote work revolution, attract foreign talent and stimulate tourism.

Digital nomads are individuals who leverage technology to work remotely and have the flexibility to travel and live in different locations while earning an income. They often work in the fields of software development, writing, design, marketing and consulting.

Several reasons are driving governments to introduce digital nomad visa schemes. For one, digital nomads contribute to the local economy by spending money on accommodation, transportation, food and other goods and services. This can help stimulate economic growth and create new business opportunities in the country.

Digital nomads also bring valuable expertise and innovation to the local job market, contributing to industries such as information and communications technology (ICT).

According to Citizen Remote, a community of digital nomads and resource platform, there are over 50 countries that offer digital nomad visas or special permits for remote workers. A majority of these visas are available in European countries, including Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Czech Republic, Spain, and, most recently, Romania.

Romanian president Klaus Iohannis signed into law earlier this year a bill that clarifies the tax regime for digital nomads, allowing foreign remote workers coming to Romania for a longer period to benefit from tax breaks.

To benefit from the scheme, foreign workers cannot exceed a stay of 183 days in the country over a period of 12 consecutive months. The minimum income requirement is EUR 3,950/month.

Italy and Croatia have among the most popular digital nomad visa schemes in Europe. Croatia’s digital nomad program has recorded notable traction these past years, rising from under 50 digital nomads registered under the scheme between January and June 2021, to more than 590 living in the country in January 2023. In January, there were 142 new applications for the visa scheme, according to an Euractiv report.

Italy, meanwhile, was home to more than 2,200 digital nomads in March 2022, data from the Italian Association of Digital Nomads show.


Featured image credit: Edited from Freepik